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    Ross Sea Life in a Changing Climate (ReLiCC) 2021 Voyage, 4 January – 17 February 2021

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    Document Number:
    WG-EMM-2021/15
    Author(s):
    R. O'Driscoll, A. Pallentin, A. Gutierrez Rodriguez, K. Safi, C. Law, C. Chin, P. Escobar-Flores, Y. Ladroit, P. Marriott, M. Gall, S. George, S. Seabrook, M. Druce, V. Cummings and M. Pinkerton
    Submitted By:
    Mr Nathan Walker (New Zealand)
    Approved By:
    Mr Nathan Walker (New Zealand)
    Abstract

    We provide a summary of the New Zealand research voyage to the Ross Sea region in 2021. The Ross Sea Life in a Changing Climate (ReLiCC) 2021 voyage on RV Tangaroa, TAN2101, was the first of two research voyages to the Ross Sea region funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) for the 2021 and 2023 austral summer seasons. The over-arching purpose of this multi-disciplinary research voyage was to increase knowledge about key environmental and biological processes in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and thereby improve understanding of ecosystem function and likely responses to future change. The focus was on providing baseline information about the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (MPA) to allow scientific evaluation of its effectiveness. There were nine voyage objectives: 1) microbial plankton communities; 2) biogeochemistry; 3) coastal marine processes; 4) oceanography; 5) underway mapping; 6) mesopelagic fish; 7) zooplankton; 8) cetaceans; and 9) Southern Ocean safety systems evaluation. Weather and sea conditions were generally favourable during the voyage, and most of the work planned across the nine research objectives was completed. In addition to the nine core research proposals, the voyage also deployed surface-drifting weather buoys as part of the international Global Drifter Program, and several wave-monitoring drifters.

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